“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman
There is no happier time of year than back to school season. The smell of old books, freshly sharpened pencils, the huge crowds of excited kids. It’s a time of beginning again, and I just love it!
It was back to school this week for my 2 big girls. It was, in fact, a very special first day of school this year. A day of seeing our life with a fresh perspective when, after a big move to a new neighborhood this spring, we were zoned into a different school. It wasn’t what we wanted; and it would have meant big adjustments for the girls, for ALL of us, really. But at the last minute, and through a modern-day-miracle, we ended up back at our beloved school, where the girls are rooted, familiar, and happy.
That first day of school this week, the play yard looked greener than ever, the teachers’ faces warmer and lighter, our community- so, so beautiful, perfect, and joy-filled. We were more grateful than ever before for what we very well thought we had lost…and then found.
But it isn’t just that, it’s this:
These are the days.
My two beautiful little plump faced babies have turned into gorgeous, thoughtful, fun-to-be-with big girls. And I still have two (relatively) little ones to squeeze, and hold, and relish when nostalgia has me weepy.
We spent our summer basically chasing rainbows and pixies (it felt just about that magical.) Losing teeth, riding bikes, going for hikes, watching movies, staying up late, eating popsicles and popcorn, giggling in the dark at bedtime, reading Harry Potter, swimming in the ocean and in grandma and grandpa’s pool after dark, just being with cherished loved ones…everything good, and right with the world- we did.
And it was over so fast. It was over SO fast.
Now, we’re back to the season of packed lunches, shoes by the door, ‘brush-your-teeth, brush-your-hair, get-in-the-car, go-go-go.’ And, I LOVE this season. But, I can see the changes in their faces. They are growing. They are older. This is the marker of another year beginning.
Norah was calmer, more resolute as she walked through her class door to third grade. Her confidence growing with each passing year.
Avery’s two front teeth are starting to grow in, and her tall, lanky frame looks older than her age.
I have covered Grant’s fatty cheeks in a flurry of kisses about a thousand times in the last few days. I have held him in my lap for as long as he’ll sit there. I have curled up next to Harper’s little bean shaped body and lingered longer than usual in her bed each night for cuddles. I have stared wide-eyed at her eating her lunch. Big, messy chomps of peanut butter and jelly. Fluffy, messy curls covering her eyes.
And, I have listened to my two big girls, too, at the end of each school day. Trying to take it all in with them. This brave new world; another school year beginning because…
These are the days.
These ARE (do you hear me?) the days.